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Author Topic: MAYA the RPG<<Seeking constructive criticism  (Read 3589 times)
whoknowswhynot
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MAYA the RPG


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« Reply #15 on: January 24, 2010, 10:27:04 PM »

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The marriage of humans to machines (implants, prosthetics, nanomachines, network interfaces etc.) could play a pivotal role, or obstacle, to a player's quest for enlightenment.  And what about AI?  If they have the same capacities for abstract thought as humans, is it possible for them to attain enlightenment too?  How cool would it be to climb the mountains of Tibet only to find out that the sage meditating at the summit is a robot?

How interesting!  I was thinking about astral races and considering silicon based life.  This fits in nicely.  I did plan for AI, but had not really put in a lot of thought about such an idea.  This is something to consider!  Thanks!  I was thinking of a race of something like the 'borg' that was an 'organization' like the galactic federation.  They seek unity, but on a higher level of ego than 0, so they are with chaos.  I had not thought about them reaching enlightenment!  Thats car-ayzee and I love it!
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We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.
Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« Reply #16 on: January 25, 2010, 12:58:37 PM »

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I think my only critique is that I would definitely include a setting, with a way to "unbolt" the mechanics from the standard setting to another one.
Maybe I should approach the descriptions as if they are a scientist's observations. This could be more easily adapted to any character regardless of the setting.  That's what I guess I would like at least.  If I am misunderstanding you, please give me an example.  I would appreciate that.

Originally, I was developing a fantasy/low tech setting, but my continued interest in sci-fi made that difficult as I was trying to create an "ALIEN"-like universe too.  I have since decided they are in the same universe just light years apart.  It would almost be like space opera and unfortunately now that "AVATAR" is out, [hopefully] not too much like that.  Maybe just a matter of writing the descriptions which I totally admit are lame and kinda stream-of-consciousness/copy & paste from old notes (some of which were directly from KULT).  I am a HUGE Kult fan even though I never have played the game one time.  I bought the book, someone stole it.  Bought it again and lost it (probably stolen again) and years later, I just got a .pdf version (let them try to steal that!).  I then came to realize that KULT had similar mechanics and just threw in some of the rules there to compare notes more or less.  They fit almost exactly with what I was aiming for, but the developers of KULT knew what they were doing better than I and they said it better than I can.  My writing style is a little hard for some people to read so I copy and paste stuff A LOT, but this is only for the early development stages.  I can eventually brush things up and put them into my own words.

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And be sure to stress to people who are making their homebrew settings that defining how Ego Levels look in that game world is one of the most important part of setting creation. If you have that information, the rest of the details will fall into place.
Maybe what would make this a lot easier is to somehow break it all down like Gurps does with a Planetary worksheet or something.  Any ideas?

Okay, what I meant was: include the examples/definitions of Ego for the homebrew setting, then do a different example setting (robots/sci-fi/whatever) and show how the Ego levels differ a bit for that setting, due to the differences in the setting.

Example: You have what is essentially KULT with the serial numbers filed off, and the journey to transcendence front and center worked into your Ego level examples. That works well with that setting. However, if you switch over to a sci-fi setting where the PCs are people who've chosen/been chosen to be Jedi or something, those definitions and examples won't make any sense. Different setting, different priorities, different background color, but essentially the same journey. You have to rewrite the Ego level examples and side-effects accordingly.

Also, and I think you need to answer this before you go much further: what happens when the dice hit the table? If you want the spiritual journey to follow the template in the game, and have that be the "universal truth", then when the PC succeeds, he essentially has to narrate how his character acted correctly in regard to getting further enlightened, and narrate how his character fell back into bad habits if he fails. However, and what might be more interesting, is to let the player react however s/he feels the character would act in that situation, and then roll the dice to see if the PC got enlightened or lost by acting the way they did. Maybe doing the "wrong" thing finally jarred them into self-awareness, or maybe the "wrong" thing was actually the "right" thing to do. It may yield contradictory results, but that's kinda how enlightenment looks to someone who isn't also enlightened. (This is similar, although not the same, as how Humanity works in Sorcerer. I strongly recommend buying and studying that game for research purposes.)

Also, do only PCs roll for results? Because I'm not seeing a lot of NPC information. I almost think that's the way it should be, since the players are traveling through the game inside their character's heads. Would cut down on the rolling.
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whoknowswhynot
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« Reply #17 on: January 25, 2010, 02:34:04 PM »

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Okay, what I meant was: include the examples/definitions of Ego for the homebrew setting, then do a different example setting (robots/sci-fi/whatever) and show how the Ego levels differ a bit for that setting, due to the differences in the setting.

Gottcha!  That would be more helpful for everyone for sure.  I will work on that.  I guess I have had this idea in my head for so long as a concept more than as a list of actual things that I just havent had a lot of material to write in for each level, but I have the concept down, the cosmology mapped out and 3 days off to work on it, so expect some stuff to change on the website soon!  Definitely I want to make it less "KULT" and more MAYA.  Perhaps I should go with descriptions according to each organization

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Also, and I think you need to answer this before you go much further: what happens when the dice hit the table? If you want the spiritual journey to follow the template in the game, and have that be the "universal truth", then when the PC succeeds, he essentially has to narrate how his character acted correctly in regard to getting further enlightened, and narrate how his character fell back into bad habits if he fails. However, and what might be more interesting, is to let the player react however s/he feels the character would act in that situation, and then roll the dice to see if the PC got enlightened or lost by acting the way they did. Maybe doing the "wrong" thing finally jarred them into self-awareness, or maybe the "wrong" thing was actually the "right" thing to do. It may yield contradictory results, but that's kinda how enlightenment looks to someone who isn't also enlightened.
I agree and to me, this would be the most fun part about the game.  Ideally, the character's would not spend a lot of time in "game time" and instead in "real time" so they would do more role playing.  I think both ways are great.  This would definitely mean that other players could try to emulate each others actions but not get the same results.  That too is the case sometimes.  I like that and will include it in the player's handbook/paragraph part!  Thanks!  Just thought of this.  If a character is posessed, maybe thats when there are certain behaviors that come out.  I have some woik 2 doo!

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Also, do only PCs roll for results? Because I'm not seeing a lot of NPC information. I almost think that's the way it should be, since the players are traveling through the game inside their character's heads. Would cut down on the rolling.

PCs will also roll for results except in situations where the players would'nt roll either.  I created MAYA with that as a main concern... I too much rolling.  Too many dice.  That said, you have a great point there.  I had thought of a completely diceless system at one time, but decided to go with 1 die roll to cover both action and reaction, so the NPC's ego is factored into the results that way.
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We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.
Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« Reply #18 on: January 25, 2010, 05:33:53 PM »

When you have a chance, could you explain "density" and what role it will play in this game? I was a bit confused by your website.
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whoknowswhynot
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« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2010, 07:18:05 PM »

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When you have a chance, could you explain "density" and what role it will play in this game?
Absolutely! Density is how "pysical" a character is or what vibraton or frequency it is at.  I know you might think "alive" or "dead" there's only 2 levels, but I intend there to be "many mansions".  This way, after death, a party may still lose one of it's members for what ever reason but once their own density is reduced they may find them again.  Basically it's role in the game is to differentiate between non-physical or energy beings and physical beings, but this can happen on any level of reality all the way down to zero ego which also means zero density (by the way, 0 ego means omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent).

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I was a bit confused by your website.

Yeah, sorry about that one!  It's because I started somewhere in the middle and am working my way out. Perhaps that could be covered best in a new thread about organization.  I need to start that one soon!  Also It's probably because I copy and paste without fully reading what I paste and only edit for spelling.  I am going to clean that up tonight.  There should be better explainations and fewer inconsistencies, less KULT and more MAYA too.
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We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.
Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2010, 03:51:43 AM »

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When you have a chance, could you explain "density" and what role it will play in this game?
Absolutely! Density is how "pysical" a character is or what vibraton or frequency it is at.  I know you might think "alive" or "dead" there's only 2 levels, but I intend there to be "many mansions".  This way, after death, a party may still lose one of it's members for what ever reason but once their own density is reduced they may find them again.  Basically it's role in the game is to differentiate between non-physical or energy beings and physical beings, but this can happen on any level of reality all the way down to zero ego which also means zero density (by the way, 0 ego means omnipresent, omnipotent, omniscient and omnibenevolent).

Ah, planes of existence. Makes more sense, and I do like the idea that death is not the end. Can I assume lighter=closer to 0, while higher density=closer to 10?
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Spooky Fanboy
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« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2010, 04:04:32 AM »

And sorry for the question bombardment, but...character advancement is obviously an issue in this game. How is that done?
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whoknowswhynot
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« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2010, 07:16:22 AM »

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And sorry for the question bombardment, but...character advancement is obviously an issue in this game. How is that done?
No worries!  That's what I am here for!  By character advancement I'm thinking you mean ego reduction or skills and abilities.

Ego reduction is the main goal and this is a slow process for a character, similar to the way a Call of Cthulhu character's sanity dwindles to 0 slowly.  I have a few important rules and a few ideas for "house rules".
1.) Failure of a roll by ego-3 or more adds 1 ego point. (Blunder or Disaster = +1)
2.) Success of a roll by ego +4 or more subtracts 1 ego point. (Excellent or Phenomenal = -1)
3.) Success of a roll by ego +4 WITHOUT a skill modifyer subtract 2 ego points.
4.) As a result of certain resistance rolls such as the all too popular "Sanity roll".

Ideas for House Rules:
Player says "can't", complains because of a roll or shouts expletives due to frustration, he or she gains a point (not because the word is offensive). This is for the more judgemental Master I guess, but it would ad another element of excitement to the game.

Skills are treated as experience and experience is treated as ego.  Creating a character is easy becaue I did away with skill lists (For the most part).  There are an infinite number of skills available and I don't want to list them all.  That said, each "Setting" will have exampes or templates to go by.  The idea is that these pathetic skills are nothing compared to omnipotence.  Skills really act more like a crutch in this sense.  They add to the roll to increase chances, but at the cost of the character having high ego and hardship in other areas of life and a character can have a lot of skills, but not ALL skills.  Skills advance quickly from unskilled to familiar, but from then on it's a slower process.  This is done in a more descriptive way in character creation giving the player creative license.
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We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.
Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2010, 01:05:50 PM »

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Metaphysical Penalties
1-10 each (Start at 10) totalling -100 to 0
Telekinesis - move things
Telepathy - communicate/share
Intuition - know things
SUggestion - manipulate
Creation - bring forth something from nothing
Alteration - slightly affect something's nmbers
Hurt - cause pain, damage
Change - change something into something else
Restore - change something back/heal someone
Protection - protect from being hurt or manipulated

Just a suggestion: KULT 2nd Ed. did something interesting with the Sorcery ability that I thought was interesting, and might work here.

If the majority of the PC's balance is in the positive range (meaning he's mired in chaos), then the powers improve as he's becoming more and more fucked up, and add to the psotive score as they improve. If the majority of the scores of the PC are negative, meaning he's freeing himself from the Chaos of reality, then the scores count as negatives, and negative Ego improves them.

What that means is, these supernatural attributes are neutral, essentially tools, usable however the wielder wants them to be used. However, they are also polarizing, in that once you learn them, you will be weighted to the positive or negative side, but will have a tough time reaching 0 ever again. Essentially, you are asking for trouble learning the secrets of the universe, which is why many enlightened types don't bother learning them, and are very conservative about passing those secrets on. If you aren't ready (freeing yourself from ego), those secrets will sandbag you into a spiral of personal suffering.

Just a thought. There are good arguments either way.
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whoknowswhynot
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« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2010, 03:47:13 PM »

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these supernatural attributes are neutral, essentially tools, usable however the wielder wants them to be used. However, they are also polarizing, in that once you learn them, you will be weighted to the positive or negative side, but will have a tough time reaching 0 ever again.

Woah, yeah!  Another reason Kult rocks!  I certainly don't want MAYA characters to be powerless either.  This is sort of how a character in MAYA would be, except it is not specific about it.  A character that would hurt another with it's metaphysical skills would be one that has high ego and specifically a high "hatred" or something similar.  That is a little too little for me.  I am going to work on the other more "generic" ego pieces like the life experiences part.  Child experience is good, but adult-wise I think that using these powers would be damaging.  This way would really work even better with MAYA because it would allow some crazy magical powers at the 0 ego level!   I guess this would be a psychic trauma or bad karma type experience that I need to factor in so that if a PC starts firing off magic missles or the Darth Vader's force choke this increases so that ego cannot reduce to zero because the PC is too afraid of losing what it has... attachment to life, power, survival, winning, etc.  This got me thinking that I should sort of include with it some defining factors for the PCs alignment in general.  These would be tested in some cases and if failed an ego point would be gained or lost depending.
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We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.
Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2010, 05:13:07 PM »

By the way, I'm experiencing a little bit of dissonance here. Do you think you could have the people who are losing Ego go into the positive, whereas those who are gaining in Ego go into the negative? For some reason, I'm having an easier time picturing it that way.

Or do you prefer keeping negative=ego-free, and positive=ego-heavy?
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whoknowswhynot
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« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2010, 07:05:58 PM »

Good question!  I have thought about it a lot, changed my mind over and over again, but I finally decided to keep it this way even though it is harder to visualize mainly because I feel that if I were to spend more time with the descriptions, writing style, and all that it would be easier to grasp.  Plus...

I started thinking about what I was mentioning in my last post about Karma which will be a negative/high ego and positive/low ego scale.  This is another reason I wanted to keep it like as is.  I don't like the name "Karma" because it is a more religious term and MAYA is not about promoting any religion, but it goes along with my other idea about past lives and the alter ego thing* that I haven't mentioned here yet.

*The character's true identity at a lower density.  This would be an astral race and rank from like a "Messenger" (Angel or whatever) or a "god", "God" or whatever.  This part is still being detailed, so I have'nt really mentioned it till now.  It's where a ghost person goes to when they are finally moving on.  Johnathan Livingston Seagull left Sully behind, Donald Shimoda left Richard behind.  This is potentially a place where they may have gone to.
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We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.
Spooky Fanboy
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Posts: 585


« Reply #27 on: January 28, 2010, 03:38:04 AM »

Good fictional inspiration: Demons by John Shirley. If you haven't read it, you should. It's what happens when the battle between Order and Chaos spills out into the public in a huge way. Conspiracies on both sides.

As far as games go, the early Mage: the Ascension games (if you pay attention to the fiction and ignore the mechanics) were inspired by Lila
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Spooky Fanboy
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« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2010, 06:51:04 PM »

Frankly, I don't know what else we can discuss until you put up more information about your advanced rules, or setting ideas, or something.
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whoknowswhynot
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« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2010, 08:10:46 PM »

Yeah, no doubt!  I have had a busy work week, but it's closing here in 2 more days!  I am doing some stuff tonight finally!
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We are equal beings and the universe is our relations with each other. The universe is made of one kind of entity: each one is alive, each determines the course of his own existence.
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